The Snopes.com web site is wholly owned and operated by Snopes Media Group Inc. (SMG), a California-based S Corporation. SMG is overseen by a board of directors comprising David Mikkelson, Brad Westbrook, and Chris Richmond.
In an effort to help our readers better understand our operations and how we are funded, we periodically update this page to reflect changes to our revenue and monetization strategies.
Here are some key points we want you to know about our operations:
- We are almost entirely funded through programmatic digital advertising sales.
- Advertisers have no contact with the site’s editorial staff and do not in any way influence the content we publish.
- We do not accept political advertising, nor do we accept any other form of funding from political parties, political campaigns, or political advocacy groups.
- We accept contributions directly from our readers and from non-partisan organizations to further our mission.
- The source of any single contribution we receive exceeding $10,000 or comprising more than 5% of our total annual revenue will be disclosed to the public.
Just as our sources of revenue are few in number, so are the classes of expenditures they go towards. The bulk of our funding is used to pay our staff and support our technical infrastructure, with the rest going to other standard operating expenses as outlined below.
In calendar year 2017, the revenues earned by Snopes.com were used as follows:
- Employee compensation: 44%
- Legal expenses: 26%
- Technical support, development, and advertising services: 22%
- Overhead and other expenses (e.g., equipment, travel, education, and training): 4%
- Carried over to 2018 for growth and expenses: 4%
In 2017, we raised approximately $700,000 from a crowd-sourced GoFundMe effort. We also received $100,000 from Facebook for participating in their fact-checking partnership effort.
In calendar year 2016, the revenues earned by Snopes.com were used as follows:
- Employee compensation: 34%
- Legal expenses: 3%
- Technical support, development, and advertising services: 37%
- Overhead and other expenses (e.g., equipment, travel, education, and training): 9%
- Carried over to 2017 for growth and expenses: 17%
In 2016, Snopes.com received a one-time award of $75,000 from the James Randi Educational Foundation as part of an annual award given by that foundation to “a person or organization who best represents the spirit of the foundation in providing unbiased, fact-based answers to confusing questions.”.